So what’s the latest superfood that people are buzzing about…bee pollen! If you have been anywhere near Instagram lately you will have seen these gorgeous yellow granules making the smoothie bowls of the world look super pretty. But what the heck is bee pollen, and do I need it in my life? Find the answers right here in this post.
What is Bee Pollen?
Bee pollen are pretty little yellow granules that bees make from pollen to feed their babies.
Okay, so why would you want to take food out of the mouth of a baby bee?
Well believe it or not bee pollen is the bee’s knees’ of super foods. It is what those in the know call a complete food, because it contains all the nutrients that we need to survive. This includes the majority of the B complex vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C, D, E and K, minerals like zinc and iron, essential fatty acids, enzymes and amino acids, and gram for gram has more protein than any meat.
Because bee pollen is so nutritious, the interwebs are swarming with fans that claim it can:
- Give your immune system a boost: with its large array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it can fight illness, kill bacteria, and reduce inflammation inside the body.
- Improve your skin: by nourishing your body with amino acids and vitamins that help protect the skin and regenerate cells.
- Enhance your energy: the nutrients in bee pollen can help you to fight fatigue and increase your stamina…apparently some athletes swear by it!
- Give allergies the flick by taking bee pollen you can build up a tolerance to the pollens in the air and reduce the severity of hay fever.
Sounds like I need to find a bee hive…stat!
Where can I get myself some bee pollen?
Bee pollen is available in most health stores…no hive required. A 125gram jar, which equates to 25 one teaspoon servings, will set you back about $15.
How does it taste?
It depends. Add it to a smoothie and it gives a nice hint of sweetness, but eat it alone and it has a sweet, powdery aftertaste that doesn’t rock my world. Just in case my holier-than-thou sugar free taste buds were playing tricks on me I asked hubby to try some, he thought it tasted like popcorn…random! One thing is for certain it doesn’t taste like honeycomb, but having said that it’s not bad, just different, so don’t let me put you off.
Is bee pollen high in sugar like honey?
If you are trying to limit sugar in your diet, I have some good news for you! At only 1.2grams per teaspoon, a sprinkle of bee pollen in your smoothie is not going to break the sugar free bank. Sugar quitters rejoice!
Can be pollen really help with allergies?
ACHOO…..you guessed it, bee pollen has done nothing to relieve my allergies. Having said that there is mixed advice on the interwebs about when and how long you need to take bee pollen to feel the benefits. Some people say your allergies will clear up within a month of taking it, while others say you need to start 6 weeks before allergy season if you want to see any improvement. Anyhoo, I won’t be throwing the Telfast away anytime soon.
Don’t forget the bees…
It takes one bee the equivalent of one month working 8 hours a day to produce one teaspoon of bee pollen. Yep that means it took a whopping 25 months to make my 125gram jar of bee pollen……….say whaaaaaa?
Now I don’t know whether I am, A. hyper-sensitive B. a nut bag C. was a bee in a past life or D. possibly all of the above, but since I made this discovery I just can’t help but thinking about those poor overworked and underappreciated bees as I sprinkle their pollen all over my oats. And with bees dying at a rapid rate for different reasons…you can read about that here….it is just all too much for this sensitive, nut bag, human that was possibly reincarnated from a bee.
Is it a keeper?
Look, call me crazy, but I can’t get past the fact that bees have to work so hard to make my breakfast parfait look Insta-worthy. Bee pollen is an amazing superfood, but since I’m doing okay in the health stakes, I’ll leave the pollen for the baby bees, and buzz off to a super food that doesn’t give me a case of the guilts.
Just a word of warning, if you are allergic to bees, bee pollen can cause a severe allergic reaction. If you are not sure whether or not you have a bee allergy, make sure you put a couple of granules on your tongue before you eat a whole teaspoon. If you are allergic you will have a reaction within a few minutes, in which case don’t eat anymore!
Have you tried bee pollen and experienced any health benefits? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.